The One-eyed man:
ruminations on diverse subjects by a curious mind
“In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king,” wrote Erasmus of Rotterdam, translating from the Greek and Roman in his Collectanea Adagiorum, published in 1500 CE. Jonathan Schork, while claiming to be no Erasmus himself, nonetheless offers us a rather fascinating compendium of esoterica—from observations about Donald Trump and U.S. Politics to Education, Cinema, and Tolkien, on to haiku and recipes for ice cream and omelettes—all adroitly arranged in the chapters of this book. One would think there’d be danger in self-identifying as the titular One-eyed man, and yet Mr. Schork, in sometimes dense prose that is by turns weirdly funny and acerbically observant, earns the qualification: his candid observations, even about himself, “hold up a mirror” to a sometimes benighted society in ways that may permit the rest of us to see more clearly the things that seem obvious to him. With copious references to obscure subjects deftly interwoven into a seamless literary fabric, and a sample bibliography that offers to “lead other curious minds to new places”, Mr. Schork has created a volume that, while perhaps not as lofty as the writing of his hero, the late Steven Jay Gould, is a fitting, and informative, tribute to a great American thinker.